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What is One Rep Max (1-RM) Living?

It is no secret that life can be very physically challenging, especially for deconditioned older adults. But what happens when your body isn’t strong enough to perform everyday tasks safely and efficiently?

One Rep Max (1-RM) living is where the demands of your daily life exceed your physical capacity. For example, if your deadlift 1-RM is 10-pounds, it will be extremely challenging and dangerous to lift a 15-pound bag of groceries from the floor. If an individual is unable to lift a 5-pound weight, retrieving an 8-pound milk jug from the refrigerator could pose a threat to the integrity of the shoulder complex. Performing at this intensity places older adults at risk of injury, which can affect mobility, health, and quality of life.

What Can We Do About It?

As healthcare providers in the physical health and wellness space, we have a great opportunity to lead the charge against 1-RM living so older adults can perform ADLs and IADLs safely. Designing a comprehensive strength and endurance program is a vital first step so older adults can build the physical capacity needed to perform these daily tasks without difficulty.

How Do We Ensure Compliance?

How do we ensure that our patients are performing their home exercise program as prescribed? This million-dollar question is one of the strongest barriers to physical recovery after injury. Fortunately, we have tools at our disposal to ensure patients are moving adequately throughout the day. For example, remote therapeutic monitoring is a strong tool to track mobility and exercise at home. Through these devices, we can ensure that our patients are getting the movement they need daily to maintain or improve their physical function.

Dr. Maggie Chamberlain is a board-certified clinical specialist in Orthopedic physical therapy.